A pharmacist handles a syringe for the flu vaccine in the consultation room at his dispensary on October 6, 2017 in downtown Bordeaux, south western France. (GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

Week by week, the headlines have worsened. As the 2018 flu season marches across North America, experts’ warnings have only grown more dire. By most accounts, the 2018 flu season is the worst in a decade. Australia had 2.5 times more cases than usual during their season, and the dominant strain this year seems to be rare. So this year, like every year, physicians are strongly recommending that people of all ages get their flu shots. And this year, like every year, reasonable people ignore or outright dismiss their doctors’ warnings.

The anti-vaccination movement has been utterly debunked, and no one actually likes getting the flu. So why do so many people avoid this simple injection?

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Despite pharmacy warnings and advertisements everywhere, over half of the U.S. still avoids the flu shot every year.

There are plenty of reasons to avoid a shot that may or may not even prevent the flu — fear of needles, fatigue and muscle aches are just a few deterrents from going through with the shot. A person may even remain unvaccinated and avoid getting sick out of sheer luck.

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